City Services

Lawns & Yards

Spring Leaf and Garden Waste

The City of Madison picks up leaves twice a year—Spring and Fall (before the snow falls).

Every April, the Street Division provides a special collection for leaves and garden debris.

Beginning in October, the Street Division provides leaf collection. It is preferred that you pile your leaves loose at the street edge (also known as the terrace). Keep leaves separate from brush and avoid piling them around or next too mail boxes, trees and utility poles. Do not put leaves in the street. You may cover your leaf piles with tarps of plastic sheeting to prevent them from blowing around.

If you must bag your leaves, please leave the bags open at the top. This will help city staff identify what is in the bags and will speed collection as all bags must be emptied.

To get the latest leaf collection information for the west side, check the City of Madison Streets website. Or you can get information by calling 267-2088. This number will provide you with a recorded announcement 24 hours a day. Also, Madison City Channel 12 (cable) runs public service announcements about these city services.

Brush Pickup

The City of Madison picks up brush from the terrace. What is brush? Tree limbs and branches are considered brush.

Yard Waste

Since 1989, yard waste has been banned from Dane County landfills; therefore, there is NO pick up for yard waste. What is yard waste? Leaves, grass clippings, flowers, plant stalks, vines and small twigs.

The best thing you can do with your yard waste is to compost it or use it as mulch at home. Grass clippings should be left on the lawn, where they provide nutrients for your turf. Clippings and leaves also make excellent mulch in gardens and around flowers and shrubs.

The City drop off or County compost sites are open from April through the first week of December.


Lawns, by ordinance, shall be maintained a at height no greater than 8 inches; natural lawns require a city permit.

Trash & Recycling

If you are a renter, the property owner may provide private waste pick up, else the following rules apply for city waste disposal.

City ordinance prohibits placing your trash on the terrace earlier than 24 hours before pick up day; trash containers must also be removed from the terrace no later than 24 hours from your pick up.

There are no regulations for placing trash in ‘barrels’ but less trash is "picked apart" by birds, etc. if properly bagged and placed within a container.

There are regulations for the collection of recyclables. See the City of Madison Streets website.

Appliance Disposal

Appliances, such as air compressors, air conditioners, copiers, dehumidifiers, dishwashers, dryers, fluorescent light fixtures, freezers, furnaces, garbage disposals, large commercial appliances, microwave ovens, ovens, ranges, refrigerators, stoves, trash compactors, washers, water heaters, water softeners and wood stoves, can be placed on the terrace for pick up. NOTE: Many of these items require a city sticker for a fee for disposal. Stickers may be purchased:

If you are purchasing a new large appliance, many times the retailer may haul away your old appliance.

Being Neighborly


There are city regulations for nuisance noise, or offences such as disturbing the peace; there are also "stationary" noise limits for producing and receiving noise (levels) on properties with specific zoning.

Although there are no regulations for exterior construction, one should keep in mind how "noise travels." Working on your house too early in the morning or too late into the evening may be disturbing to your neighbors!

When hiring help for outside work, ask them to be mindful of the noise they may produce; many complaints are received not for noisy power tools, but for loud radios of the contractors.

Snow and Sidewalks

Section 10.28 MGO relates to timing and care in removing snow and ice from sidewalks. Sidewalks are considered the public right-of-way, but the property owner is responsible for maintaining the sidewalk. If you are a renter, be sure to check your lease for who is responsible for this job, the building owner or the renter.

The owner of each lot or part of lot shall remove all snow and ice upon the sidewalk abutting the premises which he or she owns not later than 12:00 noon of the day after the snow has ceased to fall or accumulate, regardless of the source of accumulation. Also for those living on corner lots, any sidewalks bordering the crosswalk and around fire hydrants, must also be cleared.

Vehicles on Property

Storage: Only ONE inoperable vehicle is allowed to be stored on a residential lot. Vehicles parked on the street must be moved at least every 48 hours so as not to be tagged as "abandoned." Boats & trailers parked on the street, NOT connected to an operating vehicle, may only be "stored" there for 8 hours.

Parking: Vehicles, including boats and trailers, may not be "parked" on lawns especially between the house frontage and the street. Also check with your neighborhood with regard to more restrictive rules.

On Street Parking

Winter Alternate Side Parking Rules: Alternate side parking is in effect in westside neighborhoods from November 15 to March 15. For information regarding Alternate Side Parking, call 266-4622.

Other on-street parking restrictions include:

  • No parking within 10 feet of a fire hydrant or greater distance when prohibited by official sign.

  • No parking 4 feet from driveway or alley.

  • No parking within 15 feet of crosswalk.


Madison has about 280 city parks; small tot lots, neighborhood parks to regional and conservation parks. For details, visit the Madison Parks website.

Hours—Most city parks are open from 4:00 a.m. until 10:00 p.m.; if hours differ; these will be posted.

Dog Exercise Areas—Dogs are NOT allowed in city parks, except where so designated by city ordinance, sec. 8.19 MGO.

Please remember that dogs are not allowed (even on-leash) in most parks, children's play areas, beaches, athletic fields and conservation parks. Dogs are allowed on bike paths ON LEASH only.

Permit Required for Use of Dog Exercise Areas

There is an Annual Dog Park Fee of $30; Daily Fee of $5. Please be aware that in order to purchase a dog exercise permit, you will FIRST need a dog license and city dog registration. This permit is valid for dog exercise areas in designated parks in Madison, Dane County, Middleton, and Sun Prairie. For details, visit the City of Madison Dogs in Parks page.

More About Pets

Regular License Fees (Cat or Dog) as of 2010: Spayed or Neutered, $ 15.00; Unspayed or Unneutered, $20.00. For details, visit the City of Madison Dog/Cat Licensing page.

There are no maximum number of cats or dogs that one can own. Exotic pets and prairie dogs are banned in the city; exotic animals are defined as meaning any animal that is not normally domesticated in the United States or is wild by nature. Examples being: primates, 10 ft. pythons or boa constrictors.

For Animal Control call the Department of Public Health at 267-1989.

Own a Dog? Keep Your Neighbor Happy Too

  • Do not allow your dog to bark and disturb the peace.

  • Keep your property free of dog waste accumulation.

  • Pick up after your dog while out on walks.

  • Do not allow your dog to roam.

  • Curb your dog, do not allow it to urinate on flowers or shrubs in other yards

Teen Curfews

It is against city ordinance for any person under the age of 17 to be upon the streets, alleys, or public places in the City on:

Sun. – Thurs.: 11:00 pm to 4:00 am

Fri. & Sat.: 12:00 midnight to 4:00 am

It is against city ordinance for any person under the age of 14 to be upon the streets, alleys, or public places in the City on any day after 10:00 pm.

Public Transportation

Madison Metro


Many Metro buses are accessible for persons with disabilities and wheelchairs. For those individuals who are certified for Paratransit service there is a ride service, by appointment with Metro and various contracted companies. For more details, see the above link.

Accessible Taxis

A recently enacted ordinance requires taxi companies to provide round the clock accessible taxi service; to date one company, UNION CAB (phone: 242-2000) provides this service on demand.

More Information

City of Madison Website:

City of Madison Police Dept.:

How to be a good neighbor:


As residents of Hill Farms , we all play a vital role in watching out for the safety of our community, our homes, and our neighbors. The following tips provide suggestions for how you can help keep our neighborhood safe.

  1. Use the Hill Farms Facebook group,, and, and join the neighborhood watch group to keep current on neighborhood developments.

  2. Keep a cell phone or wire line phone by your bedside so you can call 911 if needed.

  3. When you are gone, use timers on a lamp in your living room and bedroom timed so that when one goes off the other goes on a couple of seconds later. Also use a timer for a radio tuned to a talk show station to simulate the presence of people within the house.

  4. Make sure a neighbor knows when you are gone for an extended period of time. The neighbor can watch the house and report anything that seems out of the ordinary to the police.

  5. Keep your car keys by your bedside. You can hit the panic button on the car keys if you hear a break-in. The car’s alarm should help ward off the thief.

  6. Use a trail camera with a black infrared flash pointed at the back door of your house. It will record (take a picture) of the thief trying to enter your house without alerting the thief. Trail cameras are used by hunters to record the movement of animals during the day or at night.

  7. The Madison Police recommends dusk-to-dawn motion sensor lights on the front and back of your house.

  8. You may wish to install a home protection device with cameras placed strategically within your house. These cameras can record the entry of a thief and store those pictures on a remotely placed computer, which the thief cannot destroy.

  9. Keep your garage doors down and all doors locked even when you are working around your house. Thieves are opportunistic and will strike if they see an unattended open door.

These are just suggestions. You may have already employed some of them. If you have other suggestions, please share them on the Hill Farm Facebook page. Keep Safe!

For additional information from the Madison Police Department, you can download the

West Police District presentation from our 2013 annual Hill Farms neighborhood meeting, or you can visit the West Police District website.

Who to Call

The following resource was published by the City of Madison Police Department in their Police Blotter blog on July 18, 2016:

It is often difficult to determine which agency is the "right" agency to call during times of need. When you need police, that phone number decision should be easy! Always use 911 when there is an emergency or a need for police for an event that is happening currently. When you need police and the issue or problem is not currently occurring or there is no ongoing safety risk, please call the non-emergency number at (608) 255-2345. Below are a few other numbers that may be helpful.

City Streets (West): (608) 266-4681

  • Refuse and recycling collection

  • Snow plowing

    • This includes sanding & salting – slick spots on city streets. Except County highway handles the Beltline and other county highways. But, when in doubt, let streets know, and they will figure it out.

    • Off-street bike paths are not typically handled by Streets – Engineering and Parks work on those primarily.

    • Streets plow off bus stops that have concrete pads on them – so not all bus stops, just the "improved" ones.

    • Streets maintains the blue sand barrels you will see on some corners that people are to use for traction at those intersections. Streets also stock the public sand locations in the city.

  • Public litter container collection

  • Large item collection

    • Streets can also use this equipment to move obstructions from the street – like say a piano falls out of a truck and blocks a lane of traffic on a city street, Streets can pick that up. If a tree falls and blocks a road, however, that's a different agency (more on that later).

  • Stump removal

  • Brush collection, leaf collection

  • Mowing

    • This one is complicated. Streets only mow some areas. Engineering and Parks also does mowing. If there are complaints about a vision hazard due to some overgrown median, let streets know and they will figure out who is supposed to do it.

  • Sod repair (but usually only when a streets division crew damages the terrace)

  • Pothole repair and curb repair

    • This includes alleys that sometimes need gravel

  • Street sweeping

  • Graffiti removal

Traffic Engineering : (608) 266-4761

  • Down street sign or signal

  • Traffic signal not functioning

  • Street lights not functioning

Forestry: (608) 266-4816

  • A fallen tree blocking the road or sidewalk

  • A traffic sign obstructed by a tree

Engineering Services: (608) 266-4751

  • Deceased animal in the road

  • Storm drain blocked or not functioning

  • Baby ducks or another animal stuck in a storm drain

Water Utility: (608) 266-4651

  • Water main break

Dane County Highway Department: (608) 266-4261

  • Potholes on Beltline or on/off ramps to the Beltline